Brussels/Banjul, March 20 (CTK) – Czech Social Democrat (CSSD) MEP Miroslav Poche was appointed head of the EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the forthcoming election in Gambia as the first Czech MEP to hold the post, Poche said in a press release on Monday.

The EU EOM will watch the regularity of the April parliamentary election in the West African country in which its long-serving President Yahya Jammeh recently left the office under dramatic circumstances.

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, appointed Poche on the basis of his previous experiences from the observation missions in Ukraine and Jordan.

“I consider it a big success that a representative of the Czech Republic will be the main observer in Gambia,” Poche said.

“The more so that this is a difficult mission before the vital election that may basically influence the country’s further developments. The occupation of the post of main observer is a clear diplomatic success,” Poche said in the press release.

Some EU observers have been to Gambia since March 13. The rest, including Poche, got there yesterday and will stay until the end of the whole election process.

After over 20 years, Gambia has a new president, Adam Barrow.

Jammeh was accused of harsh repression of dissidents, including random arrests, torture and kidnappings. After he was defeated in the December election, Jammeh refused to give up his post and only did so due to the pressure of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on January 21.